When we were 19, 30 years old seemed like a lifetime away. We could barely vote, much less imagine one day being the same age as adults. But 21 happened, age 25 stealthily crept by, and then out of nowhere our 30th birthday loomed. But instead of the fast decline into spinsterhood and death that we had imagined, it was a defining point of badass ladyhood. Suddenly we kind of had it together.
As twenty-somethings, we were still trying to figure out who we were: in our careers, our relationships, our style, and our beauty routine. Now that we've hit 30, our life has come together. We know how to handle a rude boss, how to leave a dying romance, and how to take care of our beauty. Yes, we may still have twenty-something acne, but we also have thirty-something wrinkles. We start thinking about healthy aging. The best part of all this? We no longer sweat the small stuff. We know our imperfections are actually our greatest assets. That gap in our front teeth adds so much charm. That bump on the nose has sexy character. The scar on our chin adds allure and mystery. We finally appreciate how truly beautiful we are.
Here are seven changes your beauty routine undergoes when you hit 30 and enter the glamorous, grown-up world of aging gracefully!
1. We actually sleep
As 22-year-old women-children, we cared not for the indulgence of sleep. There was life to live. Why waste it sleeping in bed? Nowadays, we have good reason to trade in party heels for pajamas by midnight. Not only do we feel fantastic after eight hours of sleep, it looks damn good to be well-rested. Our over-30 skin can bounce back from four hours of sleep every now and then, but relying on makeup tricks full-time doesn't cut it anymore. It also turns out that life is pretty awesome when we're not running on empty.
2. Water becomes a beauty must
Of course we've always consumed water. The cactus life is not for us. However, until 30 rolled around, it wasn't a beauty imperative. Nowadays it not only helps us feel good, it keeps our skin hydrated and (hopefully) wrinkle-free. We start to gracefully relinquish Diet Coke for dinner.
3. Our makeovers get a makeunder
At age 30, we toss the glossy lipsticks and pigmented eyeshadows that frequented our early 20s. Turning thirty carries a new meaning of sexy. As opposed to shocking and outrageous, we go for subtle and sultry. Our makeup kit includes a signature lip color, a liquid liner that we can apply like a pro, a full-lash mascara, a powder or foundation that complements our skin, and non-glitter bronzer that gives us cheek bones like an Amazonian goddess.
4. We fight wrinkles in our sleep
In addition to having a big-kid salary, us thirty-something ladies have the luxury of living in more comfort and make life changes like tossing our Target cotton for wrinkle-fighting silk pillowcases. Growing up is glamorous. Not only does hair look fantastic fanned out on silk, the material is soft against the skin and prevents permanent creases and wrinkles, especially for all the side-sleepers out there.
5. Our skincare arsenal starts getting pricey
It is suddenly imperative to have a serum, a moisturizer, a tightening toner, an eye gel, a hydrating mask, a cooling mask, sunscreen for eyelids, and the thrice weekly exfoliating scrub. It's not that we're suckers for skincare products. It's that we are wisely investing in our futures.
6. We put sunscreen in unexpected places
We realize now the folly of our youth and religiously apply sunscreen to décolletage and backs of hands like sinners repenting in church. We vow never to look like Magda from There's Something About Mary.
7. We smell really good
Around age 30, we clear out the random celebrity-backed perfumes that some well-meaning aunt gifted us. We lose the rainbow of fruity body spritzes from the mall stores and we figure out a signature scent that is sexy, special, and unique. We also learn, sometimes the hard way, how to appropriately apply it. Just a whisper of scent on our pulse points that leaves them all guessing.
Aging gracefully never looked so freaking beautiful. What we eat, our healthy lifestyle choices, and maintaining a positive attitude about life keep us young and glowing. No longer something to fear, turning 30 is actually awesome. It means we are just getting better at being us. We know what we want and we know how to get it. And let's face it, that's hot.
Images: 13 Going On 30/Sony